Jota had to leave his FIFA tournament early to play against Southampton
Diogo Jota made a cheeky reference to EA Sports’ FIFA 22 after scoring the opening goal in Liverpool’s 4-0 win against Southampton on Saturday.
The Reds put on a rampant display at Anfield thanks to a brace from Jota and goals from Thiago and Virgil van Dijk – taking them within a point of league-leaders Chelsea, who host Manchester United on Sunday.
Portugal international Jota opened the scoring for Jürgen Klopp’s side in the second minute of the tie, leading the 24-year-old to celebrate by pretending to hold a gaming controller.
While that might seem strange for anyone that isn’t aware of Jota’s love for Esports, his celebration actually had a much more time-sensitive meaning.
The former Wolves man had recently been competing in a EA Sports FIFA International Qualifier (in simple terms, a FIFA tournament), but had to ‘retire’ in Round 4 of the competition so that he wasn’t late for Liverpool’s match against the Saints.
Diogo Jota played in a FIFA 22 tournament this morning. He had to leave the tournament early for Liverpool's match against Southampton
After his early goal, hit a FIFA celebration ? pic.twitter.com/69VxSJDFGZ
— International Champions Cup (@IntChampionsCup) November 27, 2021
Jota – who runs an Esports team called ‘DiogoJota Esports’ – was ranked number one in the world on the FIFA Ultimate Team Champions leaderboard at one point this year and went 30-0 once again during the weekend league.
In May 2020, before he joined Liverpool, he beat now team-mate Trent Alexander-Arnold in the final of the FIFA 20 ePremier League Invitational.
“Since my dad gave me my first PlayStation as a kid, it’s been like another passion of mine. I always played football on it,” Jota told The Athletic in December 2020.
Away from the screen, Jota has been in scintillating form for the Merseyside outfit since his move from Wolves – registering 21 goals and four assists in 48 appearances.
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